Signia Pure Charge&Go AX Review – Enhancing the wearer’s experience
In May 2021, Signia launched in Australia the Pure Charge&Go AX hearing aid range on Signia’s latest sound processing engine; Augmented Xperience platform (AX for short). The Pure Charge&Go AX hearing aids are available in three performance levels: Premium – 7AX, High-end – 5AX and Mid-range – 3AX. Before we talk about the hearing aids, lets have a look at Signia’s new sound processing engine Augmented Xperience.
If you regularly go to the movies, for most people the dialogue is always clearly audible. No matter the scene of the movie, whether it is set in a nightclub, a busy street or even a war zone, you can always hear the dialogue. This is no accident. The filmmakers go to great lengths to ensure the dialogue is clearly audible. This is done by recording multiple soundtracks. A soundtrack with the dialogue and separate soundtracks for the background sound (e.g. background street noises), let’s call this the SoundScape.
During production, these separate soundtacks are re-combined with the dialogue soundtrack. The volume of the dialogue soundtrack is then precisely set at a level relative to the SoundScape soundtracks, to create the perfect amount of contrast, so the dialogue is clearly audible. Moviegoers can then clearly hear the dialogue as well as hear the SoundScape and experience the intended ambience of the movie scene.
Signia’s new sound processing engine; Augmented Xperience adopts the same approach with a new technology called Augmented Focus. The hearing aids include two sound processing chips, each capable of processing a separate track or stream of sound. One stream is for in front of the wearer, Signia calls this the Focus Stream and one stream for around the wearer, they call this the SoundScape Stream.
Just like during movie production, in real time, the hearing aid analyses both the Focus Stream and the SoundScape Stream, then recombines them in a way that optimises speech clarity, while maintaining a natural ambiance. For example, in less challenging situations, like hearing at a table in a quiet café, the hearing aids may provide equal amplification to the Focus Stream (speech form the table) and the SoundScape Stream (background noises in the Café) to create a natural experience for the wearer. Alternatively, in more challenging situations, like conversing with a friend on a busy city street, the hearing aids may reduce the volume of the Soundscape Stream (busy street) relative to the Focus Stream (conversation partner), so the hearing aid wearer can hear their conversational partner clearly.
This Augmented Xperience approach is very different from the approach of traditional hearing aids. Traditional hearing aids process sound in a single stream or track. Although such systems use advanced directional microphone and noise reduction technology to try to enhance speech in challenging situations, there is often much more of a compromise made, either by reducing or compromising audibility of the SoundScape, therefore reducing ambiance, or alternatively reducing or compromising speech clarity, therefore not understanding the conversation.
The Pure Charge&Go AX hearing aids are Signia’s smallest rechargeable hearing aids to date. There are two Pure Charge&Go AX models; the small Pure Charge&Go AX and the slightly larger Pure Charge&Go AX T. The Pure Charge&Go AX T features a higher capacity battery and a telecoil for connection to loop systems.
With every generation, Signia improves the rechargeable performance of their hearing aids. The Li-ion power cell of Pure Charge&Go AX delivers up to 24 hours of use on a single charge including 5 hours of streaming. The larger Pure Charge&Go T AX delivers an impressive 36 hours of use on a single charge including 5 hours of streaming.
In terms of charging options, there are three different models available: (1) Standard (2) Portable and (3) Dry&Clean.
The Portable charger is small and designed to fit in the pocket or handbag. Inside the Portable charger is a powerbank with the capacity to provide full three chargers of the hearing aids, before the charger itself needs to be recharged. This can be done via connection to USB-C or via Qi wireless charging.
The Dry&Clean charger features a dehumidifying and UV sanitising functionality. Very useful if the hearing aids are being used in challenging humid environments.
The Pure Charge&Go AX hearing aids offer improved connectivity options, increasingly more important in today’s connected world. In addition to supporting direct audio streaming from Apple (Made for iPhone) devices, it now allows direct streaming from Android devices that support the ASHA protocol (Audiostreaming for hearing aid). Of course, wearers can still purchase the popular StreamLine TV and Streamline Mic solutions to further enhance the functionality of the hearing aids. In addition, the hearing aids are compatible with the free Signia app. The app offers not just remote control but a Signia Assistant which uses its AI deep neural network to offer immediate support whenever users need to adjust their settings.
Over the last three months, Sounds of Life has fitted a number of Pure Charge&Go AX hearing aids. One area of feedback that is always interesting is the impressions of experienced hearing aids wearers upgrading to this new technology. Based on their experiences they have reported that their Augmented Xperience hearing aids are delivering improved speech clarity combined with a more natural surround. They also appreciate the improved rechargeable runtime with the portable charger being particularly popular.
The Pure Charge&Go AX range is currently available for trial at Sounds of Life.
Premium – Pure C&G BT RIC 7AX – $3600
High-End – Pure C&G BT RIC 5AX – $3150
Mid-Range – Pure C&G BT RIC 3AX – $2390
About Sounds of Life
Sounds of Life audiology is a member of Audiology Australia and Independent Audiologist Australia. We adhere strictly to Code of Conduct and Code of Ethics. We pride ourselves on:
- Being fully independent – We are not owned or operated by a hearing aid manufacturer or large chain.
- Ethical Practices – We are focused on providing the highest level of care and do not pay commissions.
We also follow the Australian Government Hearing Services’ protocol for hearing services.